44-Year-Old Right Wing – Free Agent
Alexei Kovalev Contract Information:
Signed a one-year deal with the Panthers in January of 2013.
Kovalev has officially retired, the Miami Herald's George Richards reports.
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Alexei Kovalev: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Alexei Kovalev.
How well Kovalev plays in the 2010-11 season rests almost entirely upon the health of his knee, which he injured during the final weeks of the 2009-10 regular season. He completely tore the ACL in his left knee, an injury that normally requires up to six months of rehab. Should he come back from the injury fully healed, Kovalev could hit around 20 goals and 30 assists. He'll be a mainstay on Ottawa's second power play unit while playing on the second line during even-strength situations. There's a strong possibility, though, that he could start the season on injured reserve, as he might need the extra time to fully heal from his ACL injury.
Kovalev hasn't had the kind of offensive talent surrounding him in Ottawa since his Pittsburgh days. It will be interesting to see how he meshes with coach Cory Clouston's aggressive system, as Kovalev likes to play a control game. Expect a return to 30 goals and 35 assists with many of those points coming on the power play.
AK27 had a renaissance or a resurrection last year. You decide. The bottom line is that Kovalev re-dedicated himself to hockey and won over an entire hockey-mad province in the process. The then 34-year-old Russian took a summer stroll in 2007 in old Montreal with GM Bob Gainey and the two were able to get their points across while washing off any mutual resentments from Kovalev's putrid 2006-07 campaign. Kovalev become obsessed with proving to everyone that he wasn't washed up. Even his agent prodded him by pointing out that he wasn't 19 any more and should become realistic about what his older body could produce on the ice. Fast forward to the end of 2007-08 and Kovalev's line reads 35 goals, 84 points, 46 PP points, 70 PIMs, and a plus-19. While we don't expect him to reach those totals this coming season, it can be reasonable to think 30 goals/70 points/70 PIMs.
Kovalev is the most overpaid player in the league who vastly underperforms to his talent level. Blessed with great skill he tends to overpass and is prone to brain cramps at critical moments. Kovalev managed but 18 goals and 47 points in 73 games last season despite ample ice time and power-play minutes. His 78 PIMs included several ill-timed forays to the penalty box. He was also a minus-19. Kovalev has just 115 points in 154 games as a Hab. If you draft him, do it very late.
The sublime talent played just 69 games last year and scored just 23 goals while managing to get 65 points. The good news is that he's healthy and that Montreal traded Mike Ribeiro so Kovalev now has as his linemates Sergei Samsonov and Tomas Plekanec. Plekanec has the requisite speed to keep up with the Russian duo while Ribeiro didn't. Suddenly the outlook appears promising.
Alexei Kovalev is the most talented offensive player on this team. He won’t be playing much on the penalty kill and he won’t be a heavy hitter along the boards. But if he can get more space this season, he could light it up. Kovalev could have signed anywhere, but returned to Montreal, where he feels at home. His 2004 playoff performance has fans thinking he can be the first Hab to crack the top 10 in scoring in many years.